PERSONAL: Married; children: two. Education: Attended Leicester University; earned M.A.
CAREER: Writer and educator. Author, 1990–. Also teaches creative writing at University of Bristol and University of Bath, England. Formerly actor in repertory companies in the U.K.
How to Become a Working Actor (nonfiction), Cheverell Press (London, England), 1990.
Adultery for Beginners (fiction), Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2004, St. Martin's Griffin (New York, NY), 2005.
Also author of The Guide to Drama Training in the UK.
SIDELIGHTS: Former actress Sarah Duncan is the author of Adultery for Beginners, which traces the progress and climax of a midlife affair. Housewife Isabel—in her mid-thirties and feeling age slowly creep up on her—is losing touch with her husband now that the couple and their children have returned to England following a career spent largely abroad. While serving as a clerk in a local office, she comes under the influence of her employer, Patrick, who has a reputation as a Lothario. Although Isabel soon finds herself in Patrick's bed, she has no intention of deserting her children or her respectable (if somewhat dull) husband, Neil. Patrick, however, soon becomes infatuated with her, and makes her an offer: run away to Italy with him and bring her children along. When Isabel refuses, Patrick turns the tables by threatening to reveal the affair to Neil unless Isabel resumes the affair. "Stuck between two self-centered men," declared a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "the story turns to Isabel's growing awareness that much of her adult life has been decided by others." Concluded Karen Core in her Library Journal review, "This debut novel is the coming-of-age tale of a middle-aged woman who wants to keep her family together" but who realizes at the same time that she cannot go on living the life she led before the affair.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2005, review of Adultery for Beginners, p. 752.
Library Journal, July 1, 2005, Karen Core, review of Adultery for Beginners, p. 65.
Sarah Duncan Home Page, http://www.sarahduncan.co.uk (March 20, 2004).
Sarah Duncan Web log, http://blog.sarahduncan.co.uk (March 20, 2004).
Writers' Courses Web site, http://www.writerscourses.co.uk/ (March 20, 2004).